Colin and Wendy find purity in white
When Colin and Wendy planned a house to replace their old 1950s Mangawhai Heads bach, they had a very clear vision from the outset. The new house would be pure white. Or Resene Black White, to be precise. Crisp, elegant and beautifully detailed, the house borrowed architectural references from both the coastal homes of the Mediterranean, as well as classic New Zealand houses. With its large eaves, gabled form, verandahs, and corrugated iron roof, the house sits perched in a stunning location looking out over the estuary, sand dunes and ocean.
The only colour on the exterior is a flash of lime green on the front door, in Resene Wellywood. The window joinery is white; even the spouting and downpipes are a Kiwi favourite – Marley Typhoon® spouting and Marley RP80® downpipes in white.
The couple’s love of white continues inside, the walls and ceilings painted in Resene Half Black White. Much of the furniture is black and the colour accents in the décor are lime green, orange and aqua.
One room of the house where colour is celebrated – the owner’s purpose-designed art studio. See www.wendyleach.com for more information.
How did the build go and what where the challenges?
It was quite a technical build as the house has essentially been built on a sand dune. The retaining walls and piles involved some serious engineering. We had to consider the coastal environment too, so choosing exterior components like the white spouting which won’t corrode or degrade from the salt air, was important. It also has a profile that’s clean-lined so suits the house. We also used Resene X-200 on the offset concrete block cladding, which is a thick paint known for its protective and water-proofing qualities.
What part of the house are you most happy with and why?
We love the whole package but we are particularly pleased with:
- The view right through the house from the pool out to sea. Also from the front door through the house out to sea.
- The white kitchen, which has a five-metre island bench and a scullery. The splashback features Wendy’s painting ‘Kuaotunu’ printed on the back of the glass. It is dynamic and monochromatic.
- The bathrooms, and the master ensuite in particular which we designed with two quite separate vanities.
- The vaulted ceilings in the main upstairs living area, master bedroom and Wendy’s studio which also features internal and external floor-to-ceiling windows.
Have a comprehensive vision of what you want. Don’t compromise. Collaborate with the right design and trades people.
What is your advice for somebody trying to achieve a similar look?
Have a comprehensive vision of what you want. Don’t compromise. Collaborate with the right design and trades people. Understand the cost and time drivers of the project to ensure you enjoy the build and to avoid any surprises or disappointments. We worked in collaboration with architectural designer, Martin Harnish, from Warkworth, on the design elements of the structure.